Dallas Cowboys 2017 Draft: Five Cornerback Prospects
By Ronald Smith
Marlon Humphrey, CB – Alabama
The first thing that has to be mentioned about Alabama Crimson Tide corner back Marlon Humphrey is something that shows when his film is really studied, not something that jumps out to you when just watching a game. He spends time in the film room!
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His next level awareness is evident on every snap and it is clear that he is a student of the game. Those are the players that reach their ceilings because they put in full effort on and off the field.
Speaking of ceilings, Humphrey’s is a high one. Equipped with the size and athleticism to excel at the position, Humphrey is an absolute natural. His size comes along a pair of impressively long arms that he makes good use of. He is impressive using those long arms to bump wide receivers in press coverage.
Marlon is very adapt at making a play on the ball in-flight. He does a good job of tracking the ball and timing his jump as well. Cowboys fans would be excited to know that he has shown good hands, allowing him to come down with five interceptions in the two years that he played for the Crimson Tide.
As is the case with just about any player on the defensive side of Alabama’s team, Humphrey is a very willing and able tackler. He doesn’t shy away from contact; instead he seeks it out and looks to lay the boom when he arrives.
He isn’t bad at taking on blockers but could definitely stand to improve in this area. Also, as physical as he is in the run game he doesn’t wrap up consistently. Like many of today’s defensive players Humphrey gets lured into the glory of the kill shot which often times results in sacrificing technique.
The ‘Bama corner doesn’t excel in man coverage as much as he does in zone. He will hold his own in man to man but has the skill set to shine in zone coverage. He is also not as fluid in his transitions as the better slot corners in the game so don’t expect him to cover the shifty guys on the inside.
Outlook for the Dallas Cowboys
If he is there at #28, I think it’s an easy call because he has the makings to be a great one. His strengths also align well with what the Cowboys may be in the market for. Dallas plays a considerable amount of zone coverage which is Humphrey’s strong suit. Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli prefers corners that can come up and make tackles which is another strength of this prospect.
Marlon’s set of physical skills (size and athleticism) coupled with his work ethic and drive to excel bode well for his future in the NFL. In all reality I fully expect Humphrey to be selected in the top 20, well out of the Cowboys reach. Considering the depth at the cornerback position in this draft, his talent, although intriguing, doesn’t warrant a trade up.